Chapter News
May 2005


ArkLaTex

The third general meeting of 2005 took place on May 10th at 6 pm with 24 people present. The location of the meeting was the National Weather Service Office in Shreveport Louisiana. The officers that were present included...

President: Harry Druckenmiller
Vice President: David Biggar
Treasurer: Daniel Johnson
Secretary: Mark Frazier

The chapter members present (not including officers) at the meeting included…

Randy Clark
Mary Eveld
Patricia Hensley
Jonathan Kelly
Joshua Leggitt
Bill Murrell
Jay Neese
Chris Nixon
Jennifer Nunn
Bryan Reed
Mark Rowlett
Leslie Sexton
April Smith
Brandy Tamplain
Benjamin Touchstone
Cassia Wilson

Non members present included…

Billy Adams
Rob Fleishauer
Mark Murphy
Monica Yoas

Five new members include Brandy Tamplain, Cassia Wilson, Joshua Leggitt, Patricia Hensley, and Randy Clark who are listed above.

President Harry Druckenmiller opened the meeting at 6:15 pm with introductions of the officers for new members. The floor was open for old business which dealt mainly with the chapter's website and any suggestions on changes. None were presented.

Treasurers Report: Treasurer Dan Johnson opened the meeting with the financial status of the chapter. He reported that the chapter had 31 dues paying members.

Secretary Report: Secretary, Mark Frazier presented the minutes of the March 1, 2005 meeting.

The featured event of the meeting was a tour of the NWS facilities and operations area. The group viewed the evening lunch of the weather balloon. The group discussed ways for the NWS and 26th OWS to better collaborate during the business meeting.

Secretary Mark Frazier motioned to adjourn the meeting. The motion was seconded. The meeting adjourned at 7:20 pm.---Harry Druckenmiller and Mark Frazier.


CENTRAL ILLINOIS

The Central Illinois Chapter of the AMS met on May 24, 2005 at Tuscany Steak and Pasta House in Decatur, IL. Approximately 24 people attended the meeting.

Chris Miller, Warning Coordination Meteorologist, Lincoln WFO, and outgoing president of the CIAMS, reported:

1) Considerable effort was made to update the constitution and by-laws during the past year and the chapter agreed to the changes at the last meeting.

2) The first post-cards announcement for the planned 2nd Midwest Extreme and Hazardous Weather Conference sponsored by the Central Illinois Chapter of the AMS. The conference will be held in Champaign on 14-15 October 2005. Featured speakers this year will be Dr. Paul Kocin, Tim Marshall, P.E., and Dr. Morris Weisman. This conference provides a venue for the presentation of case studies, operational research, and applied climatological research related to the extreme and hazardous weather that occurs in the Midwest, including: tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, snowstorms, ice storms, floods, lake-effect snowstorms, lake-breeze storms, cold waves, heat waves, dense fog, and all related human impacts.

Mike Spinar, research meteorologist at the Illinois Sate Water Survey and chair of the Education and Outreach Committee also shared several items of note. First, the CIAMS provided judges for the Illinois Academy of Science's Central Region Science Fair at Lincoln Land Community College on March 19th. The committee also provided questions, as well as judges, for the Illinois State Olympiad Competition held April 9, 2005 and the National Science Olympiad Competitions on 19-21 May, both in Champaign, Illinois.

New officers for the period, June 1, 2005 to May 31, 2006 were selected at the meeting:

President: Michael Kruk (mkruk@sws.uiuc.edu)
President-Elect: Tom Bellinger (bellinger@iema.state.il.us)
Secretary: Nancy Westcott (nan@uiuc.edu)
Treasurer: Llyle Barker (llyle.barker@noaa.gov)
Mr. Paul Merzlock, Lead Forecaster at the Romeoville, Illinois National Weather Service Office, presented a talk entitled, "14 Years Later: A Comparison between the Roanoke and Plainfield Tornadoes". The talk detailed a synoptic comparison between the 28 August 1990 F-5 tornado, which struck the town of Plainfield, Illinois and the 13 July, 2004 F-4 tornado, which struck the Parsons Manufacturing Plant near Roanoke, Illinois. Both powerful tornadoes occurred relatively late in the tornado season when usually only weaker events occur, and both events deviated from the traditional conceptual model of a strong low Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) / high vertical wind shear storm. In contrast to the typical April or May event, these two late season storms were associated with over 6000 J/kg of surface-based CAPE and moderate to low shear values. The storms developed rapidly and both were the only significant tornado produced in Illinois during each event.


Given that both systems evolved near a weak stationary frontal boundary, with dewpoint temperatures well into upper 70°s and lower 80°s Fahrenheit over much of the region, it is not necessarily surprising that large thunderstorms developed. Indeed, a derecho later formed from the supercell spawning the Roanoke storm. What is surprising, however, are the narrow ¼-mile path widths and the rapid storm initiation to tornado development (a few tens of minutes) seen with each system.

In as much as the two storms were very similar in nature, they illustrate the differences in technology utilized by the National Weather Service between the early 1990s and the present day. Chicago meteorologists in 1990 interpreted Weather Surveillance Radar (WSR) 57 reflectivity images without the advantage of Doppler velocity information, making it more difficult to diagnose tornadic low-level rotation. In addition, forecasters working during the Plainfield event relied on models, such as the Nested Grid (NGM) and Limited Fine Mesh (LFM) models, which were better at showing larger scale synoptic features. In contrast, the forecasters working in 2004 had an array of mesoscale numerical weather prediction models, including ETA, MM5, and the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model at their disposal to assist with forecasting storm development. Once storm development was initiated, the WSR 88-D radar was used to diagnose the actual tornadic debris cloud. This allowed for tailored warnings that helped save the lives of all the employees of the Parsons manufacturing plant.

After questions the meeting adjourned around 9:30 PM.---Mike Spinar and Nancy Westcott.


CENTRAL NEW YORK

The Central New York Chapter of the AMS held its annual meeting at the Spaghetti Warehouse in Syracuse, NY on May 12, 2005. Roundtable discussion affirmed that 2004-2005 had been a successful year for the club. Our main activities were hosting speakers, the most notable being Roger Wakimoto, a talk done in conjunction with SUNY Oswego. We also hosted John Chiaramonte, Hydrologist at the National Weather Service Binghamton, and David Call, WSTM Meteorologist and graduate student at Syracuse University. While the southern tier of the group had decided to disband one year ago, we agreed to merge the two back together to form one chapter.

Elections were held for 2005; each of the current officers was re-elected. Looking forward, the group brought forth ideas for the upcoming year. Suggestions included a panel discussion of local television meteorologists, science fair involvement, and increasing membership by inviting local universities and television weather watchers to upcoming events.---Maureen McCann.


HOUSTON

AMS Houston Chapter
May 2005 Minutes

Speaker:
Dr. Ed Rappaport: Tropical Prediction Center (TPC) - Deputy Director

Program:
May 25th's meeting (our final meeting of the 2004-5 Season) featured Dr. Ed Rappaport, Deputy Director of the Tropical Prediction Center (TPC). Dr. Rappaport was the keynote speaker of the Houston/Galveston National Weather Service's 2005 Hurricane Workshop that following evening in Pasadena, Texas. Mr. Rappaport spoke to our chapter on hurricane forecasting and tropical weather; emphasizing TPC's experimental wind speed probability graphics for this upcoming 2005 season.

The meeting was hosted at the new Houston/Galveston National Weather Service's Forecast Office (picture below). The National Weather Service successfully moved to its forecast office in mid-April and, earlier in the day, the weather service's new facility was also host to their ribbon-cutting ceremony with their Galveston County OEM partners. This Weather Forecast Office is the first in the country to be co-housed with local emergency managers (Galveston County OEM & 9-1-1). This facility is designed to withstand a major hurricane while continuing to provide uninterrupted service; or, theoretically, is non-dependent of any power or communications outages. Our group of 25 enjoyed a tour of this new state-of-the-art facility given by the M.I.C., Mr. Bill Read.



Officer elections were also be held after Mr. Rappaport's presentation.

Houston AMS Chapter Officers
(2005-6 Season) ---Patrick Blood.


NORTHERN CALIFORNIA

After a hiatus of over 11 years the newly reestablished Northern California (NorCal) Chapter met on May 19, 2005 at the WeatherNews (WNI) Headquarters in San Francisco. The meeting was preceded by a social half hour which included pizza and sodas provided by our gracious host company. The meeting was called to order by Chapter President, Woody Whitlatch, at about 7:30 PM with a brief welcome and introductions. It was also presented that the Chapter dues would be only $10 per year and that the second meeting would be sometime in the early Fall. There were a total of 27 persons in attendance representing 10 companies along with 2 retirees and 6 San Francisco State University meteorology students.

The four largest local employers of meteorologists in the Bay Area had each been asked to give a 15-minute overview of their firms. Mike Cetenich of Jeppesen led off the speakers with a brief history and then the aviation weather operations from their new high tech offices located in downtown San Jose. This was followed by the Sonoma Technology (STI) representative, Charley Knoderer, who highlighted the Petaluma company’s operations in the air monitoring field. Byron Marler of Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) presented an overview of the utilities operations and responsibilities. The final speaker was Beth Sandel of Weathernews who gave summary of the firm’s history along with some of their expansion into new technologies.

Further socializing followed which gave everyone a chance to catch up with new and old acquaintances and for students to make some very important contacts. The meeting ended at approximately 9 PM.---Jan Null.


OMAHA-OFFUTT

The Omaha-Offutt chapter of the AMS held its May meeting on May 17, 2005, at Gorats Steak House in Omaha. There were 32 members and guests in attendance.

At 7:12 PM chapter President Jeremy Wesely called the business meeting to order.

Recording Secretary John Roth read the minutes from the March and April meetings. A motion to approve the minutes was made by Fawn Morley and seconded by Bruce Telfeyan, and the minutes were accepted.

John Eylander spoke for the education committee. He and Evan Kuchera made a presentation on severe weather at the Omaha Children's Museum. The committee wants to continue to work with the museum on exhibit development and other educational materials. He mentioned the success of career night and other committee efforts working with local high schools. He concluded by thanking members of the committee and inviting anyone interested in joining the committee.

Bruce Telfeyan of the nomination committee acknowledged committee members Dan Rozema and Jay Martinelli and their efforts at obtaining candidates for the chapter offices. He offered candidate biography sheets for anyone interested, and solicited any last minute nominations from members present. Receiving none, he and Dan passed out the ballots. Votes would be counted, and the results announced, prior to the end of the meeting.

Treasurer Karen Harder-Sittel presented the treasurer's report. Five new paid memberships were collected, bringing the total for the year to 56.

Old business:
Chapter of the Year forms have been submitted to national headquarters. Jeremy thanked Brian Waranauskas for donating weather radios to the education committee for use as science fair prizes.

New business:

A photo contest is being held to obtain pictures for a 2006 Omaha-Offutt chapter calendar. Matt Sittel and Jen Roman are putting the calendar together. It will contain daily weather information as well as the winning photographs. Jen went over the contest rules and entry fees. The hope is to sell the calendars for less than $15, depending on printing costs. They are also talking with KMTV about possible sponsorship. There was a discussion regarding the chapter's web site, which is currently split between the UNL and Creighton web servers. Christy Carlson proposed a plan to consolidate everything onto a single web server, with chapter members having the ability to update pages with new information. She runs a web business, and can provide the web server, handle domain name registration, etc, at no cost to the chapter. After the discussion, John Eylander moved to rehost the web site onto a single server. The motion was seconded by Steve Byrd, was voted on, and passed. Jeremy reminded everyone that there was one more meeting for the year, to be held on Wednesday June 1, at Sam and Louie's restaurant. Dr. Roger Wakimoto would be speaking.

Following dinner two chapter members made presentations.
John Garner, a student at UNL interning at AFWA/DNXT, presented two topics. The first was titled "Short Term Changes in Vertical Wind Shear and Hodograph Structure During Significant Tornado Events". He examined significant events from 2001-2004 in Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri, looking at hodographs from nearby profilers from two hours before the event up to the time of the event, to determine the evolution of vertical wind shear. His second presentation was titled "Relationship Between Morning Stratus and Tornadoes". This one examined cases and presented a theory that low level thermal boundaries and high relative humidity, left over after dissipation of areas of morning stratus, can be regions of enhanced potential for tornado development.

Daniel Nietfeld, Science and Operations Officer at the Valley NWS office, presented a talk titled "Highlights of the 2005 Severe Weather Season in Nebraska". He examined five events: April 18, with numerous large hail reports, along with tornadoes and flooding rains in central Nebraska; April 21, with just a few scattered reports but one small tornado; May 7, when numerous tornadoes were reported over south-central Nebraska; May 10, when two large supercells formed, one over south-central Nebraska and one over western Iowa, and May 11, when record rainfall and hail fell over the area around Hastings and Grand Island. With some of these events, he examined the relationship between height of the level of free convection and tornado strength, and the tendency of tornadic mini-supercells to form near the surface triple point when it is less than 200 miles from the 500 mb low.

Bruce Telfeyan announced the results of the election. Jennifer Roman was elected president, John Eylander was elected Vice President, Evan Kuchera was elected Recording Secretary, Stephen Augustyn was elected Corresponding Secretary, and Karen Harder-Sittel was reelected Treasurer.

A motion to adjourn was made by Randy Falzgraf and seconded by Jen Roman, and the meeting was adjourned at 9:13 PM.---John Roth.


PACKERLAND

The Packerland Chapter of the AMS conducted a meeting on May 5 at the Christie Theater of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay (UWGB). Chapter Executive Committee Member, Dr. James Brey, welcomed the audience of nearly 70 persons then introduced our speakers, Dr. Steven Meyer, Chapter President, and his independent study student, Carrie Sonnabend, a mathematics education and mathematics major at UWGB. Dr. Meyer first announced the newly-elected leadership of the Chapter for the 2005-2006 season: himself as president, Dr. James Brey as vice-president, Peg Zenko as treasurer, Dale Walker as secretary, and David Miller, Thomas Mahoney and Gary Austin as the executive committee.

Dr. Meyer then delivered a talk on the "Analysis of the Climate Prediction Center's (CPC) Long-Lead Seasonal Climate Outlooks for Wisconsin," and Ms. Sonnabend followed with her section of the presentation. The talk presented the results of analysis work Dr. Meyer and Ms. Sonnabend had performed during the past school year, examining the success of CPCs long-lead forecasts in Wisconsin. Dr. Meyer identified the many economic sectors which rely on climate forecasts, including state departments of transportation and agricultural and recreational interests. Next, he described the long-lead outlooks as 13 overlapping three-month forecasts out to one year, issued the third Thursday of each month in one-half-month increments. He showed examples of the graphic forecasts, explaining their probabilistic nature of above-normal, equal-chances and below-normal trends, then described how the forecasts are developed using the level of agreement between three different models as a basis for the probabilistic graphics. His and Ms. Sonnabend's analysis investigated how accurate the CPC outlooks were by forecasted season, lead time and probability anomaly, over the past ten years, i.e., 1994 through 2004, or 1450 forecasts per each of the three climate divisions in Wisconsin. Dr. Meyer then explained the methodology of their analysis which employed the chi-squared statistic ("P-value") to test for significance between predicted and observed temperatures and precipitation. He presented their analysis results for temperature, then Ms. Sonnabend presented their results for precipitation.

Many more above-normal temperature outlooks were issued during the winter seasons (NDJ - FMA) than any other time of the year. Conversely, many more below-normal temperature outlooks were issued during the late summer and fall seasons (JAS - SON). The above-normal outlooks were statistically significant (P-values > 0.05 level) during the winter months; however, the below-normal outlooks were not statisitically significant. Overall, there were more above- and below-normal temperature outlooks for the shorter lead times than the longer lead times, but not by a great deal. Above-normal outlooks showed the greatest statistical significance at the shorter (0.5 and 1.5 month) and longer (9.5-12.5 month) lead times, while the below-normal outlooks showed poor agreement with actual values except at the 7.5 and 8.5 month lead times. Overall, the greater the confidence placed in the above-normal outlook (i.e., the higher the probability anomaly), the better the chance that the outlook would be correct. Above-normal temperature outlooks with probability anomalies of 0.500-0.599 and 0.400-0.499 were statistically significant. Below-normal temperature outlooks were not significant at any anomaly level.

Below-normal precipitation outlooks tended to be forecast for the winter seasons (JFM - MAM), coinciding with the above-normal temperature outlooks, while above-normal precipitation outlooks tended to be forecast during the fall seasons (SON-NDJ). There were very few precipitation outlooks with large probability anomalies. The best statistical agreement of precipitation outlooks tended to occur during seasons when few above- or below-normal outlooks were forecast. In terms of lead times, there were by far more above- and below-normal outlooks issued in the shorter lead times. Interestingly, however, below-normal precipitation outlooks showed their highest significance at the longer lead times (11.5 - 12.5 months). Conversely, above-normal precipitation outlooks showed greatest significance at lower and mid-range lead times (0.5 - 9.5 months). Overall, the greater the confidence placed in the above-normal outlook (i.e., the higher the probability anomaly), the better the chance the outlook would be correct. Above-normal precipitation outlooks with probability anomalies of 0.400-0.499 were statistically significant. Below-normal temperature outlooks were not significant at any anomaly level.---Dale Walker.


PLYMOUTH STATE UNIVERSITY

Date: May 11, 2005
Minutes: 7:00-7:45pm
Attendance: 35
Board Members in Attendance: Jason, Chris G, Chris W, Melissa, Andrew, Lindsay and Dr Hoffman.

Opened the meeting with pizza, soda and year-end remarks. Thank you was given to this year's executive board as well as our advisor Dr Hoffman. We went through the voting procedures and began the process. Below are the results of the election.

President - There was only one person nominated for the position of President, Chirs Gloninger.
· Winner - Chris Gloninger
Vice President - There were two people nominated for position of Vice President, Chris Winters and Eddie Sheerr. They each gave a short speech about what they see for our organization.
· Winner - Chris Winters
Treasurer - Lindsay Tardiff was nominated by email and Andy Travis was nominated at the meeting and seconded. Each gave a short speech and we voted.
· Winner - Andy Travis
Secretary - Katie Franceour was nominated by email and Lindsay Tardiff and Eddie Sheerr were nominated at the meeting and seconded by peers. They each gave a short speech.
· Winner - Katie Franceour
We closed the meeting wishing everyone good luck on finals, safe travel and a fun summer.

We also invited all new executive board members to dinner May 12, 2005 to talk and share views on what could have been done differently and some ideas for next year.


SMOKY MOUNTAIN

The May meeting of the Smoky Mountain AMS Chapter was held on Monday evening, May 23rd. Everyone met at the Tennessee Grill on Neyland Drive at 6:00 p.m. for dinner. The presentation commenced around 8:00 p.m. in Room 166 at the UT Agricultural Engineering Building. Our speaker was Dr. Hong Liao from the California Institute of Technology who spoke on "Global Simulation of Year 2100 Ozone and Aerosols: Effects of Future Climate Change and Increasing Emissions".

A few notes from Dr. Hong Liao are as follows:

"Numerical assessments of future climate change and future air quality need to account for interactions between atmospheric chemical constituents and climate. A fully coupled chemistry-aerosol-climate general circulation model is used to simulate changes in climate and concentrations of ozone and aerosols from 2000 to 2100 based on the IPCC SRES (A2) scenario. When emissions of ozone and aerosols are kept at the present-day levels, climate change resulted from the changes in CO2 concentration over 2000-2100 is predicted to reduce global burdens of ozone and anthropogenic aerosols. With effects of both climate change and projected emissions, concentrations of O3 and anthropogenic aerosols in year 2100 are predicted to be significantly higher than those in year 2000. The impact of climate change on emissions and burdens of natural aerosols is also examined in this work."---David Gaffin.


TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY

TAMSCAMS meeting 5/02/05

  1. New president Chris McKinney welcomed everyone to the meeting.
  2. New Vice-President Brad Klotz talked about trips for the 2005-2006 school year such as Adopt a Beach and TV stations and the National Weather Service in the Dallas/Ft. Worth Area. For the Spring: NASA, NSSL, and Universal Weather.
  3. Shane Motley and Jen Salato thanked everyone for a wonderful year. They also announced the new TAMMSSDA coordinators, Gordon May and Kaycee Fredericktalked about TAMMSSDA.
  4. New Treasurer Emily Riley gave the treasurer’s report.
  5. New Secretary Melissa gave the secretary’s report.
  6. Former and new social chair Keri Turner talked about celebrating birthdays next year, the new social listserve, ideas for social events, and gave out survival kits to graduating seniors.
  7. Former president Zach Glenn talked about the new KAMU Radio Program.
  8. Chris McKinney talked about implementing and mentor program between upper and lower classman. He also asked for volunteers to sign up.
  9. The summer meeting was scheduled for Tuesday, July 12.
  10. We concluded with ice cream sundaes upstairs on the 12th floor.
---Melissa Polt.


TWIN CITIES

The May 2005 meeting of the Twin Cities chapter of the American Meteorological Society was held on May 17 at Lake Susan in Chanhassen. A picnic featuring barbecue and the usual accoutrements was held before the meeting took place.

The first order of business was to select next year's officers. Vice President Doug Dokken stepped down after serving for 4 years in that position (we are grateful for his service), while the balance of the officers decided to serve another year. The chapter's new vice president by unanimous consent is Shelby Winiecki. So, for the 2005-06 year, the Twin Cities AMS Chapter officers are
President - Rich Naistat
Vice President - Shelby Winiecki
Secretary/Treasurer - Chris Bovitz
Newsletter Editor - Kurt Scholz
In other business, we discussed the recommendations of the Membership/Outreach committee. Specifically, we talked about changing meeting days; and increasing dues to do, among other things, bring in big-name speakers. There was some reluctance to raising dues the recommended 50% since that might drive away members, especially those who don't come to meetings. It was decided that the officers would meet this summer to discuss the recommendations and a list of speakers for next year.

The speaker for the evening was Kevin Theissen, a paleoclimatologist at St. Thomas University. He spoke about the billion or so years of Earth's climate. He started by showing the "hockey stick" graph, which shows a relatively steady temperature for the last 2,000 years with a sharp warming during the last 100 years. These trends are seen in both the northern and southern hemispheres. This information was taken from tree rings, ice cores, and corals, among others.

A record of the actual average temperature was then discussed. This chart showed a 10 degree-or-so variation over the last 800 million years. The temperature record was derived from plate tectonics, magnetics, fossils, and paleogeology, and paleobiology. Times of cool global temperatures coincided well with times when the land mass of Earth was consolidated in large areas such as Pangea and Gondwanaland. There were four "slushy/snowball Earth" periods in this period, and there is compelling evidence for this in different parts of Earth on all continents. Positive feedbacks helped to get Earth into a "snowball" state and out of this state. The trigger for leaving the snowball state is considered to be "greenhouse" gases emitted by volcanoes.

Forcings which cause global climate change are plate tectonics (biggest influence, but slowest acting), orbit and rotational orientation of Earth, and millennial-scale forcings such as changes in ocean currents and solar output. During the last 100 years, natural forcings only account for about 1/3 of the temperature change.

So why does the Earth become cool? There are a number of triggers which have been noted: Uplift of the Himalayan Mountains changing the flow of air masses, chemical weathering, and changing ocean currents.

As for the uncertainties of climate change, although there is a large agreement in the community that humans are modifying the environment. But what is in store for Earth is up for debate. Questions include what will happen with the increasing amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere - how much it will increase the global average temperature. The effects of feedback mechanisms such as increasing methane hydrates, decreasing ice coverage, cloud cover, and human-caused emissions.

Changes in ocean currents are currently the "hot" topic. One scenario has fresh water from melting ice caps submerging the Gulf Stream, cooling northern Europe, and possibly starting a feedback mechanism to cooling Earth. There is geological evidence for such a scenario. But how soon and how quickly that will happen is still being debated.

Another scenario involves large natural releases of methane which would cause positive feedback for warming. The threshold for changes is currently not known with any detail.---Chris Bovitz.


 



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